Jean-Charles de Castelbajac (b. 1949) French fashion designer

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Coat by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac
Coat by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac | The Met

Jean-Charles de Castelbajac (b. 1949) was a French fashion designer. He was professionally active in Paris. He was born in Casablanca.

Education

Between 1966–67, he studied law at Faculté de Droit, Limoges.

Biography

In 1968, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac founded the Ko ready-to-wear fashion firm in Limoges along with his mother, Jeanne-Blanche de Castelbajac.

Starting in 1968, he worked as a freelance fashion designer for various firms such as Reynaud, Pierre d’Alby, Max Mara, Levi-Strauss, Jesus Jeans, Hilton, Ellesse, Carel Shoes, Etam, Gadging, Julie Latour, Fusano, and Amaraggi.

He held his debut fashion show in Paris in 1973 and was recognised for his avant-garde designs for women’s clothing. His creations featured unconventional materials such as canvas, blankets, plastic, automobile upholstery, parachute cloth, cheesecloth, and leather.

Jean-Charles de Castelbajac Shirtdress
Jean-Charles de Castelbajac Shirtdress | FIDM Museum

He founded his line of women’s clothing in Paris in 1970. Between 1975-76, he opened boutiques in Paris, New York, and Tokyo. In 1978, he was appointed as the director of Société Jean-Charles de Castelbajac in Paris.

He designed costumes for films including Violette et François (1976), and Annie Hall (1977). Who Killed My Husband? (1979), and TV series Charlie’s Angels (1978-80): in 1976, designed stage costumes for musicians Rod Stewart, Elton John, and Talking Heads.

Chaise Funny Valentine Chairs by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac
Chaise Funny Valentine Chairs by Jean Charles de Castelbajac | MutualArt

Starting in 1979, he worked on designing interiors and furniture. The 1989 Castelbajac furniture collection by Ligne Roset was one of his notable creations. This range included 14 cushions with various polychrome designs that could be mixed and matched on sofas. The cushions could also be reversed to reveal black leather on a black-leather frame. He also designed 1991 My Funny Valentine dining chairs that came in multiple bright-colour created combinations, as well as rugs for Ligne Roset.

Exhibitions

My Funny Valentine chairs were shown at the 1991 Salon du Meuble, Paris.

Sources

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing. https://amzn.to/3ElmSlL

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